Saturday, 14 February 2009

Tonight You Belong To Me : Gene Austin, Haley Barnes, David Houston, The Broadway Hush

Here we are at last - thirty different covers of "Tonight You Belong To Me" which was written in 1926; beautiful words by Billy Rose, music by Lee David.

I couldn't find the original recording by Irving Kaufman, but this one by Gene Austin is absolutely lovely. It does contain what I take to be the original opening lyrics, which are rarely included in later versions.

Once more we meet, You look so sweet
Dear, can't you see how I feel?.
I love you still, I always will
You have the same old appeal.

Tonight You Belong To Me - Gene Austin with the Nat Shilkret Orchestra
Victor Records (1926)
I've a 'quieter' but more faithful mp3 of the same record here

Charles David Houston was Gene Austin's godson - I'm not sure if that influenced this gentle, country cover - but his voice certainly counts as crooning. He had many, many hits in the decade following his first, self-titled album in 1964.
Tonight You Belong To Me - David Houston
David Houston (1964)

Lovely as can be, this is. Simple, short, & very sweet indeed.
Tonight You Belong To Me - The Broadway Hush

I started this batch with something very old, from the well known  - Gene Austin. So in a way,  it seems fitting to end with a fairly recent version, from someone young, with a lovely voice, who isn't well known yet; although I feel that may well change.

I came across a video of Haley Barnes singing "Tonight..." on her youtube channel, & it was obvious that she's blessed with a fine voice - off to myspace, & there's a version with the most delightful harmonies... it's marvellous indeed.

Tonight You Belong To Me - Haley Barnes Musica
listen to more from Haley on her myspace
There are numerous versions of "Tonight You Belong To Me" on How Marvellous... and yeah, I know I've missed a load more - feel free to contribute, won't you?. (I do have a few more now - maybe I'll post 'em later).

Haley Barnes

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